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Majority of Irish people expect better quality of life and net job creation from the green transition

63% think climate policies will improve their quality of life, 59% believe policies to tackle climate change will create more jobs than they eliminate, 53% say that the green transition will be a source of economic growth.

21% expect to have to move to another region or country in the future because of climate change — this figure increases to 39% among people aged 20-29, 20% fear they could lose their job because it will become incompatible with the need to mitigate climate change — this figure is 31% among 20-29 year-olds

These are some of the results from the latest release of the 2021-2022 Climate Survey conducted in September 2021 and published today by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union and the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects.

Better quality of life despite less purchasing power

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Are policies to tackle climate change good news for the economy? A small majority of Irish people would agree: 53% say the green transition will be a source of economic growth (in line with the EU average of 56%).

63% of Irish respondents also believe that their quality of life will improve, with greater convenience in their everyday lives and a positive impact on the quality of their food and their health. Policies that address the climate emergency are also seen as good news for the job market: 59% of Irish people believe these will have a net positive impact on employment levels within the country, creating more jobs than they eliminate.

However, nearly three-quarters (72%) anticipate that their purchasing power will decrease with the green transition.

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Migration to other regions and changing jobs

According to Irish respondents, the challenges related to climate change are here to stay. While one-third (34%) of them believe that the climate emergency will be under control by 2050, 64% feel that it will still be a serious issue by mid-century.

Irish respondents say they see climate change threatening their place of residence. When asked about the longer-term impact of the climate crisis, one-fifth of them (21%) expect to have to move to another region or country because of climate change. This concern nearly doubles among people in their twenties, with 39% of them saying they are worried about the possibility of needing to move due to climate issues. Irish people, especially the younger generation, are also concerned about the sustainability of their jobs: almost one-third of respondents aged 20-29 (31%) fear they could lose their job because it will become incompatible with the fight against climate change (11 points above the national average of 20%).

Long-term lifestyle changes

Irish people are conscious of the behavioural shifts that are needed to tackle climate change. According to them, individual lifestyle changes that reduce carbon emissions will gain significant traction in the next 20 years. 66% say they think that most people will be working from home to contribute to the fight against climate change, while one-third (35%) think most people will have adopted a plant-based diet and nearly half (48%) predict that an energy quota will be allocated to each individual.

A global comparison: Differences between EU, British, American and Chinese respondents

Overall, Europeans are divided on whether the green transition will be a source of economic growth. More than half (56%) believe it will be the case, in line with the perception of American and British respondents (57%), while Chinese people are more optimistic (67%). However, the majority of Europeans (61%) are confident that their quality of life will improve, with a positive impact on the quality of their food and their health. Europeans are more pessimistic compared to Chinese people (77%), Americans (65%) and British people (63%).

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